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Global Health in Local Populations

Two-Week "Glocal" Elective Ambulatory Rotation in San Diego area

Overview  |  Core Competencies  |  Clinical Sites  |  Goals and Objectives  |  Faculty  |  Apply  |  Links


Answering the call to “Think Globally and Act Locally,” the UC San Diego Department of Medicine and Division of Global Public Health offer Global Health in Local Populations, a two-week medical subspecialty ambulatory rotation for Internal Medicine Residency Program trainees. The rotation is designed to expose residents to concepts in global health not traditionally incorporated into graduate medical training.

First offered in 2009, the rotation gives residents the opportunity to explore the connections among international health, human rights, epidemiological trends and health disparities through experience in outpatient clinics that serve the global populations in San Diego. The program focuses on building skills in culturally competent care of immigrant populations, victims of torture and refugees from Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas.

Core Competencies

Residents who are accepted into the local Global Health elective will rotate through four different outpatient clinics across San Diego in order to gain experience with the clinical care of a global patient population that ranges from refugees from Iraq to binational tuberculosis patients from Mexico.

Each resident will also be required to complete online training modules on global health priorities and medical assessments for victims of torture who are seeking asylum in the US. Additionally, the resident will participate in weekly case presentation teleconferences with internal medicine residents on the Global Medicine rotation in Maputo, Mozambique.

Clinical Sites

The four clinical sites are as follows.

Pictured at right: Ramsey Salem, MPH, of Survivors of Torture International, and Timothy Rodwell, MD, PhD, MPH,  faculty advisor for the Global Health in Local Populations elective.

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Goals and Objectives

Patient Care

  • Perform Refugee Health Assessment Screening exams on newly arrived refugees including anthropometric data, basic lab work and tuberculosis screening
  • Provide ongoing outpatient care to refugees who have both acute and chronic medical issues
  • Perform a medical evaluation and legal documentation of torture for survivors who are seeking asylum

Medical Knowledge

  • Overview of the development of global health
  • Epidemiology of common diseases worldwide
  • Health disparities, human right to health and social determinants of health worldwide
  • Presentation, diagnosis and treatment of common conditions found in refugees including malnutrition, anemia, active and latent tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, malaria, hepatitis, intestinal parasites, and tropical diseases
  • Identifying and correlating physical evidence of torture with asylee history

Interpersonal and Communication Skills

  • Enhance skills in using interpreter services and communicating with low-English proficiency patients
  • Improved awareness of gender and cultural issues surrounding interactions with refugee and asylee populations


  • Develop sensitivity to patients’ ethnicity, religion, culture and experience
  • Develop an understanding of the physician’s role in identifying and documenting evidence of torture and other human rights violations
  • Understand the physician’s role in connecting medical ethics and human rights

Practice-Based Learning

  • Understand cost-effectiveness of refugee and tuberculosis, hepatitis and intestinal parasite screening programs
  • Demonstrate ability to critically evaluate evidence-based medicine and apply it to the clinical setting
  • Present selected global health topics to peers at the residency program’s Morning Teaching Conference

Systems-Based Practice

  • Understand limitations and opportunities inherent in different systems of health care worldwide
  • Learn to work effectively with other members of the health care and public health systems including the refugee resettlement agencies and the San Diego County Tuberculosis Control Program

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UC San Diego Faculty Advisor
Timothy Rodwell MD, PhD, MPH
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Division of Global Public Health
Office 858-822-4353



Navy Travel Clinic
Refugee Health Assessment Program
San Diego County Tuberculosis Control Clinic
Survivors of Torture International
UC San Diego Division of Global Public Health

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